A motherless six-year- old girl, Patience Goffa says she has been selling cold water for survival since she turned five years old. While being interviewed in Jacob Town Community in Paynesville on 11 March by a communication student from the state run – University of Liberia, Patience said her mother died when she was just two years old, and her father has not been in touch with her.
Worse of all, she narrated that her aunt with whom she has been staying following her mother’s death has now compelled her to sell cold water to raise her own money for feeding and schooling.
Patience said when she was three years old, her father left her with her aunt and went out Monrovia to work, adding that since departing Monrovia, he has not returned.
Due to her father’s alleged long stay coupled lack of communication, she said her aunt decided at certain time that she would start selling cold water in the streets if they did not hear from her father.
Patience claimed that her aunt had warned that if her father failed to send her support, she [aunt] will not struggle for her money and then spend it on her [Patience].
The minor further claimed that true to her Aunt’s warning, she was subsequently given money one week later to start selling cold water in the streets with strict instructions that if she did not make enough money from her sales, she would not eat or go to school.
According to her, each time she makes less profit, her aunt doesn’t give her food. But she says when business is fine for her, she takes home between L$500.00 to L$600.00.
Patience wishes that in the absence of her father, someone else could take her and treat her as their own child, but said she would be very grateful if her father were to return and give her the care she needs.
By Apu A. Togba-doya